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I'm Javonne Crumby, creator of Lesbionyx-- A space for queer women of color. As a Black woman who loves women, I grew tired of the lack of representation and resources for women like me. So I created a platform for us and by us, because no one tells our stories like us! 

Why I Joined the Adult Entertainment Industry [NSFW]

Why I Joined the Adult Entertainment Industry [NSFW]

By: Rineya

Have you ever been in a situation in your life where your back was against the wall, leaving you afraid and uncertain? I had been in that position more than a few times, however, I didn’t anticipate the capacity of this situation or how much baggage would come with it. 

I was in my early 20’s doing early 20’s stuff. I had a full-time 9 to 5, partied every weekend with my queer, crazy, sexy, cool squad. I had also just purchased my first car so you know I was driving to the nearest corner shop just for the sake of driving. Like most people I knew at that stage in life, I was still living at home with my mother and brother.

The main problem at the time though, was that by the middle of each month, I was always broke, we all were. My mother had an office job and my brother was a struggling artist, so after the rent and necessities, we had nothing left between us. We weren’t broke like “man, I’ve just about got two measly notes left to my name”.  I mean we were broke-broke like getting happy if you found a stray penny in your jeans pocket type broke.  

It was a cinematic situation, living paycheck to paycheck, getting loans and then defaulting on those as well. But I managed to get a survival routine in place so I was cool to a degree.

That was until my boss called me into his office one day and said “I regret to tell you this...” As he said that, the sweat that began to bead from my forehead started to threaten my penciled-in eyebrows. I was worried and he continued “...but I have to cut your full-time hours down by just under half because I simply can’t afford to pay your full salary anymore”.  Honestly, to me that news was a relief because I thought he was about to tell me that I’d finally been caught doing all my fuck boi shit at work. So initially I thought "well okay, it’s not that bad, I’ll just get a second job or find another full-time job elsewhere", simple right? So my search began.

My search wasn’t going too well and the time had arrived for the winter months to steadily creep their way through the inner city streets of London. Things at my mother's house got to the point where heating, electricity and food became a luxury by at least the 15th of each month. No matter how hard we tried to budget, cut down, scrape or borrow, it was never enough. We prayed, tried to stay positive, support and love one another through the hard times, but let’s be real, love ain’t paying no bills amiright?

Reluctant yet appreciative, I started to sleep at other peoples homes but eventually found myself overstaying my welcome and exhausting my options of couches to crash on. On the days that I was scheduled to work, I’d drive up to where I’d usually park and station my vehicle there. I would sleep in my car with the engine running at times as that was the only way to stay warm.  In the mornings, before anyone else entered the building at work, I would sneak in with my flannel and toothbrush and wash in the bathroom basin. Cups of tea and custard cream biscuits from the staff kitchen soon became my only source of breakfast, lunch and dinner.  One morning I got caught, fanny out, washing in the basin by the owner of the building and needless to say, I was humiliated. The owner of the building gave me a warning and said that if he caught me again the police would be notified and I would be removed from the premises. Asshole.

As I headed to work the next morning fretting about what my next move was going to be after yet another uncomfortable night in my car, the bells of revelation began to ring in my psyche.  I remembered from my previous job searches, that I came across an advertisement on a site that was promoting earnings from £100 per hour for females to join their franchise as ‘hosts at a private luxury members-only club in the heart of London’. I said to myself “Self! We’re gonna be a stripper” self declined, self said “Bitch Nooooo!”

I said “Yes! I’ll go to work to tell them I’m running late, I’ll find me an internet cafe and do this!”

Previously when I first laid eyes on the advert I was like “Girl Bye”, but now I was hastily in search for it so I could call up in my Lionel Richie voice and sang “Hello… is it me you’re looking for?”.  I found a club advertising for black females and wrote the details down on the back of a lottery ticket.  As I got up to leave the cafe, out of nowhere, it felt like the small cubicle I was in started to close in around me. An unsettling sensation swept throughout my entire body sending heat convulsions through and out my hair follicles. The oxygen I was struggling to inhale grew thick and had turned into molecules of shame and disgrace.  My heart got tight at the thought of grief that would be imposed upon my mother if I make the decision to go ahead with this.  Thoughts raced through the tracks of my mind faster than Usain Bolt! “This isn’t America babe, Black Strippers don’t get any play over here! You’re not exactly a size 6 either and let’s not forget that your sexuality might get exploited if anyone finds out that you’re queer. Girl knowing your luck, one of your brothers friends will come to this club and then all your business will be in the streets.”

By the end of the day I had talked myself out of it completely and decided to just go to my mother’s house, chill and start my job search again the next day.  I opened the front door and went to turn the main light switch on. No light! No electricity! No Gas! That was it for me, my decision did an immediate U-turn and said "Fuck This Shit! I’m Sick of this!" Resilience and courage kicked in all at once and I pulled out that lottery ticket. The person on the other end of the line told me that if I was serious, a position had just been made available. I could audition that very night and take home all of whatever I managed to earn. No hesitation, I immediately asked for the address and made my way. To say that I was nervous is an understatement! Yet the reality was that my next meal literally depended on whether I decided to embrace the form of change being presented to me.  This could make an active difference to my situation. Or I could let fear deter and defeat me and stay uncertain in my position.

 My take home pay for a night.

My take home pay for a night.

If you’ve seen the movie The Players Club, you might recall Diamond (with her fine ass) narrating about how she started out as a stripper and made the reference “I walked in a Young Lady and walked out a Woman”. Well I certainly concur with that statement. My first night at the club, I made £180 (~$254) in 3 hours. I was able to purchase hot meals for myself, mother and brother that night and we also received the gift of light, heat and were able to take hot showers. Over the next few years of dancing I went on to make up to £2,500 ($3527) a night during the good seasons but otherwise made an average intake of a £1,000 (~$1412) a night. Though in 2015 while on vacation, I visited King Of Diamonds strip club and saw how much the dancers made there. Chile I wanted to pack my kitty in a suitcase and move to Miami to pussy pop on a handstand!

After 5 years of dancing I have now hung up my stilettos, chains and whips. Why? That is a whole ‘nother story. But I am grateful to have been one of a few lucky enough to have a positive experience whilst I was in the industry. I certainly have stories and memories to last me a lifetime and precious life lessons that would last me a million more.  Had it not been for the struggle, my back being pushed against the wall, the fear and the uncertainty that came along with it, I would not have been challenged to go beyond my comfort zone to find a way to turn fear into fuel for a better outcome.  I believe that courage is a super power, one that we all possess. Sometimes it takes the most unorthodox or taboo type situations to unleash the power within.

 

 

 

“When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the vision of my service, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”  
— Audre Lorde
 Rineya is an emerging writer and speaker with an audacious and inspiring background who attributes her voice to her former colourful and volatile lifestyle. She intends to use her pallet of experience to paint pictures of growth, healing, and enlightenment whilst inviting others to share her new journey of self-actualization and learn from the offerings of her past.   Her writing reflects on her navigation through sexuality, relationships, addiction, mental health and developing as a progressive Black Womxn in this beautiful New Age she feels blessed to be in. She is about to embark on attaining her Masters in Business Management and strives to remain active in her advocacy for self-empowerment.

Rineya is an emerging writer and speaker with an audacious and inspiring background who attributes her voice to her former colourful and volatile lifestyle. She intends to use her pallet of experience to paint pictures of growth, healing, and enlightenment whilst inviting others to share her new journey of self-actualization and learn from the offerings of her past. 

Her writing reflects on her navigation through sexuality, relationships, addiction, mental health and developing as a progressive Black Womxn in this beautiful New Age she feels blessed to be in. She is about to embark on attaining her Masters in Business Management and strives to remain active in her advocacy for self-empowerment.

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